Substitute Ahmed Hamdi was the hero for the home side, scoring two late goals to seal Montréal's win in a grand return north of the border.
Montréal were finally back at Stade Saputo, in front of their own supporters, after a stretch of 28 consecutive games on the road. Pumped up by their first game at home in 2021, Montréal put the pressure on their visitors from the opening kickoff. Joaquin Torres, making his first start with the club, beat Kenneth Vermeer with a shot from distance but hit the crossbar only two minutes into the game.
Cincinnati were also early to throw a cold shower onto Montréal. Victor Wanyama was easily dispossessed in his own defensive third by Brenner, who then left it for Luciano Acosta. The Argentine sent the ball to Haris Medunjanin just above the box who sent a low shot towards the far post to break the ice.
Cincinnati took a two-goal advantage with only 14 minutes on the clock due to a costly Montréal defensive error. Zorhan Bassong sent the ball back to James Pantemis but the goalkeeper struggled with the ball to his feet. Brenner sprinted onto the Canadian, stole the ball and tapped one of the easiest goals of his young career.
Montréal cut their deficit to one only seven minutes later. Wanyama made a case to be forgiven for the first goal of the game as he sent a through ball toward the left flank for Lassi Lappalainen. The Finland international found Mason Toye with a cross and the New Jersey native became the first CF Montréal player to score at Stade Saputo in 2021.
The hosts didn't stop there and brought the game to a 2-2 scoreline 34 minutes in as Joaquin Torres was witty enough to jump on a rebound off the hands of Vermeer and found the equalizer for Montréal.
If you thought that there weren't enough goals in the first half of this game, Cincinnati once again took the lead just before halftime. Alvaro Barreal sent delivered a free-kick to Gustavo Vallecia who was well into the six-yard box and tapped in his club's third goal of the night.
Cincinnati regained their two-goal lead seconds after halftime after another defensive mishap by Montréal. Barreal took advantage of a slip from Rudy Camacho before finding Brenner who grabbed his second goal of the game.
But the game was only just getting started. Montréal started had another opportunity to equalize when Mason Toye was taken down inside the box by Kenneth Vermeer and referee Silviu Petrescu called for a penalty. Toye stepped up to the spot and beat Vermeer with a low shot toward the right side.
As this game wasn't crazy enough, Montréal found their second equalizer of the night mere seconds later. Egyptian youth international Ahmed Hamdi's strike hit the woodwork and found its way in to pull Montréal level for a second time with 15 minutes to go.
Then Hamdi did it again. This time he took advantage of a poorly cleared cross give Montréal their first lead of the game. The ball fell straight to his foot and Hamdi did not miss his opportunity to make Stade Saputo erupt.
As a final note, the public announcer took the microphone to dedicate the win to assistant coach Jason Di Tulio who is currently fighting brain cancer.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Monkey's off the back for CF Montréal. Wilfried Nancy's squad finally managed to get a result against FC Cincinnati and in dramatic fashion. This win in the dying embers of the match was the perfect gift for their home supporters who had been waiting all year to be able to attend a game at Stade Saputo.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Ahmed Hamdi was gifted the opportunity to win the game by a poorly cleared cross and the Egyptian youth international didn't miss on that good a chance.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Ahmed Hamdi came on as a substitute and was in the right places at the right time to give CF Montréal one of the craziest wins in recent history. His two goal performance off the bench will go down in the long history books of the storied Montreal club.